First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor

Jayneann McIntosh




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January 2018

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September 2018

October 2018

From Pastor Jayneann's Pen

Yes, I could write about Thanksgiving which would give me a chance to write about stewardship. I always like that topic … especially holistic stewardship. If I did this, I might talk about how we live out our membership vow to support the church through our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. How’s that going for you?

But what I’d like to talk about is an idea I had last night as I was writing lists of what I need to do before flying to Tel Aviv next week. I’m writing this on October 1st knowing you’ll read it in November. And November means that Advent’s coming. Christmas isn’t far behind .

No, I’m not asking if you’re ready. Advent and Christmas is such a special, sacred time. We’ve each been gifted in so many ways. Do we notice the needs around us as we ought? Have we caused someone pain? Have we offended?

I’m sure I have. As a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, I offend too easily and never even know it happened. So I’ve learned to ask forgiveness regularly and as soon as I realize there’s a problem.

Forgiveness. Often, when we forget a pick-up time or a get together, when our words get sharp or we mess up in another way, a quick “I’m sorry” will suffice. The other person hears us admit our error and we go on.

As long as we make this a regular practice, we seldom need to do more. But there are those times. Someone recently wrote a note about connecting with their sister for the my sibs is hard on me.) Sometimes these estrangements are due to addiction, distance or seasons of life but a lot of the time, somebody has messed up. Someone’s verbal filters slipped and they said something they shouldn’t have. Someone took things too personally or let their anger get
the better of them.

There are all sorts of ways to get bent out of shape. Then the pain or offense festers… and grows. We avoid calling. We don’t return messages. And the gap between us widens. Maybe this happened last week or maybe it’s been 20 years. Next month we celebrate God’s giving of the greatest gift imaginable. God gives Christ Jesus as a symbol of the love and caring God has for us – a love that will never end. It seems to me that using this time before Advent to assess my relationships and make amends is a better way to express my own love or gratitude than giving someone a gift they don’t need. I’m well aware that I miss the mark regularly. So I’ll approach this holy season as a time to prepare myself and to work to mend breaches. I will ask forgiveness. Maybe this idea would work for you.

If you’re one I’ve hurt or offended, please tell me. Please. I’d like to know about it.

Please write to me or, better yet, let’s talk.